Baldwin Auditorium

Built in 1927 to resemble Rome’s grand Pantheon, Baldwin Auditorium underwent two years of renovations starting in 2011 and ending with the building’s reopening in September of 2013. The renewed Auditorium maintains its original Georgian architectural style, while incorporating significant sustainable design features, earning Silver Certification under the LEED™ for New Construction 2.2 Rating System.

View the Baldwin Auditorium LEED™ Scorecard


Sustainable Site Features

Located on Duke’s East Campus, Baldwin Auditorium is within half mile walking distance of at least 10 community services and a developed residential zone. In this way, the building does not contribute to urban sprawl and also provides occupants with the opportunity to walk or bike to nearby services rather than drive. Onsite bike storage facilities and showers further encourage users to consider pushing themselves rather than the gas pedal. In accordance with this idea, no additional parking has been provided for the Auditorium.

The location of Baldwin Auditorium on Duke’s East Campus positions its users in close proximity to the University’s transportation service that regularly circulates through the various campuses. The building’s location has also been classified by the EPA as a former brownfield, or contaminated site, making it a high priority for redevelopment. This remediation was successfully accomplished by project leaders who further demonstrated a devotion to environmental preservation by maximizing the amount of undeveloped open space surrounding the Auditorium to two times the area of the building.

The new walkways leading towards the building were designed with a high Solar Reflective Index, so as not to contribute to urban heating.


Water Efficiency

Both indoors and outdoors, water savings were made a high priority in the Baldwin Auditorium renovation. By installing low-flow systems in all facilities, project leaders managed to reduce the building’s water consumption by over 35 percent.

In addition to the reduction of indoor water use, potable water use for landscape irrigation is entirely eliminated.


Energy Efficiency

Upgraded with a host of energy efficiency measures that include an improved thermal envelope, high efficiency glazing, and occupancy sensors, Baldwin Auditorium has achieved an energy cost savings of nearly 15 percent. Low energy-use LED lighting and low-velocity forced air conditioning based on occupancy, contributed significantly to these energy savings.

In order to quantify energy consumption by specific systems within the building, a measurement and verification plan was developed and implemented. Enhanced commissioning was also performed to ensure that each system functioned as designed and successfully met its energy-use targets.

In addition to reducing energy consumption, Baldwin Auditorium earned LEED™ points for enhanced refrigerant management by eliminating CFC-based refrigerants and minimizing the use of other compounds that contribute to ozone depletion and global warming.


Indoor Air Quality

Prior to occupancy of Baldwin Auditorium, sensitive construction materials were protected from moisture, so as to avoid the harboring of microbes. Further prevention measures taken to minimize the contamination of indoor air during construction activities included using air handlers to filter the indoor air of particulates.

Occupant health was also made a priority in the decision to use low-emitting materials that include adhesives, sealants, paints, and carpeting. In addition, ventilation of indoor spaces is carefully controlled based on data collected from carbon dioxide sensors distributed throughout the Auditorium.

In order to ensure the comfort of audience members, staff and performers, project leaders installed a perforated stage floor that evenly distributes low-velocity air to performers as well as 200 swirl diffusers beneath auditorium seats to produce an upward flow of air. Indoor temperature and lighting in each part of the building is largely under occupant control, so that settings can be adjusted to match user preferences.

Resource Management

Although the renovation of Baldwin Auditorium yielded many significant improvements in functionality and aesthetics, the core of the building was largely reused, with over 75 percent of the walls, floors and roof left in their original state. In this way, the amount of additional materials required for the project was minimized.

During the construction process, recyclable waste materials were organized into five categories, and designated collection areas were established for each type. This careful practice resulted in a landfill diversion rate of over 75 percent. In order to further promote the reuse of materials, project leaders ensured that over 10 percent of the total building materials content, by value, had been manufactured using recycled materials. Over 10 percent of the project materials were also extracted, processed and manufactured within a 500 mile radius of the site.


Integration of Sustainability in Design & Construction Process

A holistic approach that stressed communication and task coordination amongst project teams was implemented throughout the design and construction process in order to meet sustainability targets.

A continuous cycle of goal setting and reevaluation helped project members to reach important milestones within time constraints.